Fifty years ago, the Baltimore Colts rallied to win a world championship over the New York Giants before 57,545 jubilant fans at Memorial Stadium.

Go on, scratch your head. The 1958 title game is burned into our brains: 23-17, sudden-death, Ameche's plunge, the stampede at the airport. But the sequel, on Dec. 27, 1959? Half a century later, who can recall the cast, the Colts' comeback, or the score?

Not even the players, it seems.

"Don't remember it at all," said Hall of Famer Lenny Moore, who caught a 60-yard touchdown pass in the 31-16 victory that day. "Man, oh man. Can you believe that? I don't remember me."

Ditto, say many of Moore's teammates, who helped build Baltimore's first football dynasty.

Come on, guys. After 50 years, there's no buzz about the only NFL championship ever played in Baltimore?

Nope, said defensive end Gino Marchetti, then the Colts' captain: "That game is lost in space."

Pity, that. Because the city's second football title was, in some ways, as sweet as the first. Roused by a partisan crowd, the Colts rallied from a 9-7 deficit with a 24-point blitz in the fourth quarter to quiet Giants fans who had called 1958 a fluke.

On its own, the 1959 game had legs. But it pales beside the Colts' first championship, dubbed "The Greatest Game Ever Played."

"You couldn't come up with a scenario to beat the '58 game even if you stayed up all night to plot it," said Raymond Berry, the team's star receiver. "My memories of it are vivid. But the second one? I've hardly given any thought at all to that."

It is, players said, The Game That Time Forgot.

It wasn't always so.

In 1959, Christmas week in Baltimore was less about holly than horseshoes. Folks stood in line for hours, not to purchase gifts but tickets to the title game. In Govans, a homeowner trimmed his outdoor tree with lights of blue and white.

Downtown, construction workers putting a new wing on the city jail unfurled a 42-foot banner that read "Go Colts Go" from atop the crane's 130-foot boom.

With one title in tow, Colts fans wanted more, especially if it meant another shot at the haughty Giants. When New York gamblers started a rumor, a week before the game, that Johnny Unitas had broken his leg, club officials cried foul and pondered hiring bodyguards to protect their 26-year-old All-Pro quarterback.

Unitas led the Colts (9-3), who had the NFL's No. 1 offense, against the Giants (10-2), who had its No. 1 defense. Oddsmakers installed Baltimore as a 3 1/2 -point favorite even though New York, earlier in the season, had defeated two teams (the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns) against which the Colts had stumbled.

The Giants fueled the pre-game rancor. Dick Lynch, a newly acquired defensive back, promised to give Berry, a hero of the '58 championship, a licking.

"The only way to stop hotshots like Berry is to really blast them," Lynch said.

New York linebacker Sam Huff all but promised victory for Gotham.